– granted $300,000 bail
CHIEF Elections Officer (CEO), Keith Lowenfield was, yesterday, slapped with six additional charges following a “comprehensive” investigation by the Guyana Police Force in relation to the March 2, 2020 General and Regional Elections and its aftermath.
Lowenfield appeared before Magistrate Sherdel Isaacs-Marcus at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court on three counts of misconduct in public office and three counts of forgery. He was represented by Attorney-at-law, Nigel Hughes.
The first set of three charges alleged that Lowenfield, between March 5, 2020, and June 29, 2020, while performing his duty as CEO, without lawful excuse or justification, wilfully misconducted himself by ascertaining results of the March 2 elections knowing the said results to be false.
The charges further alleged that this wilful misconduct amounted to a breach of the public’s trust in the Office of the Chief Elections Officer of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM).
It is also alleged that between March 5 and June 23, 2020, at Georgetown, Lowenfield conspired with person (s) unknown to commit the common-law offence of fraud by presenting to GECOM tabulations attached to his Election Report, dated June, claiming that it accurately reflected the true results of the said elections in order to materially alter the results with intent to defraud, knowing the said tabulation to be false.
He was not required to plead to the charges and was released on a total of $300,000 bail. The case was adjourned to October 23 for statements.
Outside of the court house, Mr Lowenfield’s attorney proffered that the charges are being used as a tactic to have him removed from his post at GECOM.
Lowenfield is currently before the court on three private criminal fraud charges. He is expected to go on trial for these next month before City Magistrate, Faith McGusty.
The private charges were filed by People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) member, Desmond Morian and General Secretary of The New Movement (TNM), Daniel Kanhai, on June 30, 2020.
The magistrate had set November 13 for the commencement of the trial for the case filed by Morian, while Kanhai’s matter was given a November 20 start date.
Hughes had written the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) requesting that the three criminal charges be withdrawn; the DPP is yet to respond to that request.
Only last week, Mr Lowenfield’s deputy, Roxanne Myers, appeared before Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan slapped with two counts of misconduct in public office.
Myers was not required to plead to the charges and was granted bail in the sum of $150,000 on each count. Myers has to return on October 23; she was represented by Attorneys Nigel Hughes and Ronald Daniels.
The Guyana Police Force (GPF) has launched a “comprehensive” investigation against Lowenfield and Region Four District Returning Officer, Clairmont Mingo, after it received formal reports of alleged criminal misconduct by the duo.
The results of the elections were finally announced on August 2, after a five-month delay.